The civil war amongst the Sachin Pilot and Ashok Gehlot camp in Rajasthan Congress is seemingly reaching its fitting climax. The former had been camping in the national capital since last Friday, hoping to meet the party high command in Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. After the rebellion of last year, it was the second time that Pilot had landed in New Delhi. However, in a rather surprising turn of events, the Gandhi family refused to give an appointment to Pilot who was forced to return empty-handed without having a face to face meeting.
Sachin Pilot for the better part of the year has been demanding that his loyalists be given a position in the state cabinet in a long-overdue expansion. It is pertinent to note that 9 positions are vacant in Gehlot’s cabinet and instead of filling them and satiating the Pilot camp — the state CM is cunningly stalling the proceedings.
Citing doctor’s orders for putting off Cabinet expansion, Gehlot is now picking absurd reasons to stave off Pilot.
“In view of the post-Covid repercussions, as a precautionary measure on the advice of doctors, the Chief Minister is not able to meet people in person. All meetings and interactions are being done through video conference and video calls only. The doctors have said that for a month or two, he should hold meetings with the video conference only,” the chief minister’s special officer Lokesh Sharma said on Monday.
Mukesh Bhakar, a staunch Pilot loyalist who was removed from the post of Rajasthan youth party chief by Gehlot last year to set the young leader in place has been fuming after other Pilot camp leaders accused the Gehlot administration of tapping their phones.
“We are not greedy for ministerial posts. I too could have become a minister by indulging in sycophancy if I wanted. If Ved Prakash Solanki has spoken about phone tapping, then he must have given it a thought. We people are being kept under watch,” said Bhakar.
" जिंदा हो तो जिंदा नजर आना जरूरी है
उसूलों पर आंच आए तो टकराना जरूरी है"
कांग्रेस में निष्ठा का मतलब है अशोक गहलोत की गुलामी।
वो हमें मंजूर नहीं।
— Mukesh Bhakar (@MukeshBhakar_) July 13, 2020
As reported by TFI, the political turmoil in Rajasthan Congress started simmering once again, after a relative period of dormancy brought by the pandemic. In April Sachin Pilot reminded the Congress high command of the AICC reconciliation committee formed by Sonia Gandhi to address the demands of the Pilot camp.
“The recommendations of the reconciliation committee was formed in the Congress on the instructions of Sonia Gandhi should be acted upon immediately. There is no reason for the delay,” Pilot had said.
He also added, “The committee was formed nine months ago but unfortunately Ahmed Patel ji died and its work could not be completed. I am hopeful and confident the committee will not delay any more and there will be prompt action on issues that we raised and the consensus that was reached,”
The committee initially comprised AICC general secretaries KC Venugopal, Ahmed Patel and Ajay Maken. Patel, however, died last year. Maken earlier said that political appointments and cabinet reshuffle would take place after the by-polls in Rajasthan. However, even after the results were announced on May 2, no progress has been made so far.
It has been well understood that Gehlot has had the backing of the Gandhi clan all this time but political pundits believed that Rahul Gandhi had a soft corner for Sachin Pilot as well. Rahul’s closeness with Pilot was one of the reasons why the latter did not break up from the party like Jyotiraditya Scindia last year and gulped his pride whilst staying put in Rajasthan.
However, the disrespect meted Pilot’s way by Rahul Gandhi is surely going to fire the leader and one can predict another round of rebellion coming Congress’ way. And unlike last time, Pilot will not hang around.